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Staff Reads — March 31, 2018

Book Projector Treble Clef

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Kerry: Just read The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks. A fast read with lots of twists!

Tory:

Laura:

  • On the Way to the Wedding by Juia Quinn: I love this series of romance novels, featuring the Bridgerton siblings in 19th century England. The characters are well developed and the story is fun. The e-book version had an epilogue which had a plotline that seemed to come from nowhere, but overall, I enjoyed the ride.
  • Triangle by Katharine Weber: Rebecca and her partner, George, are devastated when her beloved grandmother, Esther, passes away. Esther was the last survivor of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and, as Rebecca and George learn, may have been hiding some secrets regarding events before and after the fire. Readers hoping for a historical fiction account of early 20th century New York City may be disappointed to learn that most of the book takes place in 2001 and that the Triangle fire serves as more of a backdrop. I enjoyed the prose, descriptive sentences, and the development of both Rebecca and George and their relationship. There is one side character that comes across as a little too silly and I figured out a twist, but these are minor quibbles with an otherwise thoughtful book.
  • Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier (Graphic Novel): Catrina and her family move to a new town for the sake of the health of her younger sister, Maya, who has cystic fibrosis. Catrina and Maya learn that ghosts inhabit the town as their new friends get ready to celebrate The Day of the Dead. I’m a big a fan of Raina Telgemeier’s work and I enjoyed this non-traditional ghost story as well her touching and realistic take on young sibling relationships.
  • I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez: I was excited to read this nominee for the National Book Award, featuring the story of Chicago born and raised Julia, who is culture clashing with her parents who emigrated from Mexico. This coming of age story features a likable but flawed protagonist, making her seem real. There are a lot of plot points and themes in this novel, and it can be hard to keep every plot point straight. I chose to think of the novel as a series of vignettes or short stories rather than one long narrative and that made it work better.
  • The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory: This refreshing book had me at the positive review from Roxanne Gay. For one, I really like and respect Roxanne Gay. For another, how cool that Roxanne Gay likes romance novels and is not afraid to admit it! This novel details the romance of Alexis and Drew, starting with their meet cute in a broken elevator and continuing with their long distance romance. Although they have their problems like any couple, Alexis and Drew have a very positive and healthy relationship. Situations that would be contrived in a lesser romance novel are dealt with in a refreshing way and are not dragged out.
  • Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now by Dana L. Davis: When her mother passes away, Tiffany must move across the country to live with the father she has never met. Along with her father, she must contend with suddenly having four sisters and a new stepmother, and her father’s strict rules. I enjoyed this family story, though there is a subplot which proved to be distracting and, ultimately, irrelevant. (This book is scheduled to be published in May. I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy.)
  • 806 by Cynthia Weil: Three teenagers, who were conceived via the same sperm donor, go on a road trip to find him. This is a great and intriguing premise that I wish had been executed better.
  • Call the Midwife (Television Show): This lovely British drama about midwife nurses in the East End of London during the 1950’s is a great binge watch for the waning gloomy days of winter.

Mary R.: Rosie Colored Glasses by Brianna Wolfson!!!! Touching and well written story about a little girl whose parents divorce. I cried like a baby. Definitely one of my favorites.

Pat O.:

Debora: In honor of Women’s History Month, I have 3 titles that have women from history – both actual and fictional – as heroines.

  • The Second Empress by Michelle Moran: This novel takes you right into the underbelly of the Napoleon court. The book has 3 narrators: Napoleon’s sister Pauline, her Haitian servant Paul, and Princess Marie-Louise of Austria who is obliged to marry the Emperor to prevent war. Fascinating history lesson with lots of info from the women’s perspectives.
  • Trans-sister Radio by Chris Bohjalian: For anyone who wants to understand better what it’s like to be transgender, this novel explores the many complex issues and feelings through a love story.
  • City of Light by Lauren Belfer: Set against the backdrop of the birth of the electric industry in 1901 Buffalo and the Niagara Falls area, this is the story of a young woman with a past. The novel has murder, intrigue, and a strong female protagonist.

Ashley:

  • One True Way by Shannon Hitchcock: A sweet and necessary middle grade book about a young girl figuring out she’s gay in the 70s.
  • White Houses by Amy Bloom: A historical fiction account of the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok. I wanted to like this book, but it just felt so slow.
  • The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu: Follows the lives of several women after they experienced a tragedy together at summer camp. It was a quick read.
  • Going into Town: A Love Letter to New York by Roz Chast: This graphic novel, written as a somewhat guide to NYC, sort of a love letter to what the author loves about it is so charming and funny. I highly recommend it.
  • The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule: All I knew about Ted Bundy before now was that he went to my high school and he was able to take young women in broad daylight because he was a pretty good looking guy. After reading a thriller based on him, I decided to read more.
  • Watched Love, Simon: “Everyone deserves a great love story. But for seventeen-year old Simon Spier it’s a little more complicated: he’s yet to tell his family or friends he’s gay and he doesn’t actually know the identity of the anonymous classmate he’s fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing.” Go see it!
  • Everything Sucks! On Netflix Have 90s nostalgia? Check out this series on Netflix about a bunch of teens growing up in Boring Oregon in the 90s.
  • Thor Ragnarok: I don’t usually like superhero movies, but I’ll watch anything directed by Taika Waititi. I was not disappointed; it was a fun movie!
  • Lady Bird: I enjoyed it, i wouldn’t say it was the most awesome thing i’ve ever seen, but it was well done. It was neat that it was took place the same year i was a senior in high school.
  • Channel Zero: No End House Like creepy shows? Check out this series from SyFy now on DVD. it’s the second season of Channel Zero, but each season is a different story, so you don’t have to start with the first. “A young woman and her group of friends visit a bizarre house of horrors only to find themselves questioning whether it is a tourist attraction or something more sinister”.

Louise:

  • To anyone who enjoys an engaging story line that you can not let go of, humor, romance, pathos and the feeling that a book would make an excellent movie, please try How To Walk Away by Katherine Center. Fans of Emily Giffin, Jane Green, Janet Evanovich, Liane Moriarty, and Jennifer Weiner will all enjoy this witty, spellbinding, light, yet moving tale. I was hooked from the very first sentence. Literally.
  • Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel: This memoir is beautifully and intelligently written and drawn. Alison Bechdel (author of the comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For) writes about her complicated relationship with her mother and her journey from childhood to adulthood with humor, wit and intelligence. For anyone who has had a complicated relationship with a parent, who has struggled to come into their own, or has lived the examined life. This book will appeal to fans of the graphic novel Hyperbole And A Half by Allie Brosh.
  • I am currently listening to We Are Water by Wally Lamb. This book tells the story of a family in Three Rivers, Connecticut, a fictional town in which many of Lamb’s novels take place. Different characters are telling their story in the first person and, in this entertaining audio presentation, they are read with great expression by a cast of talented actors. This is a good book for readers of psychological fiction. Fans of Pat Conroy, Anita Shreve, Anne Rivers Siddons, and Donna Tartt are a good bet for this audiobook.
    This is not a good novel for people who don’t like to read about trauma and abuse as both of these are present in this story.

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